Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Robe? Coat?

Robe? Coat? or????

A few months ago I received this from a friend. Not sure what the maker intended it to be. They never finished it, but they had put in several hours of work. It still a few places where there is no decorative stitches. They never got around to finishing the edge or sleeve edge. It looks like some of the materials may be from the 1940's or 1930's. Any thoughts appreciated on this item.

I'm thinking about putting a binding around the edge and put a 1950's slip under it  and wear it to Sunday Undies at Costume College as a robe. It is cute on, it is form fitting through the waist then flares out.

I wonder if several years down the road someone will find an unfinished project of mine and wonder "what the heck did she have in mind for this"

Back Top Neck - you can see how it has unfinished edges and even the basting stitch in this part

A few of some of the decorative stitches.

A few of the materials are starting to shred. It looks like some of these materials are from the 1940's.
Inside stitching

Bottom edge unfinished.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I was looking through my files for some pictures of Louise Mackay's home in England for a presentation tomorrow and ran across these pictures of Chatsworth. They had clothing on display from movies when we visited there. For the life of me I can't remember which movie! Thought you might enjoy seeing them.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

New Adventure - NaDa DaDa Motel

In June I had the opportunity to participate in the event called Nada Dada Motel. Artist from around the city rented rooms from three hotels to display their art, June 14-17. I worked with three other artists and for a lack of a better word we termed ourselves, costume artists. We, Killbuck, Mary Crawley, and Geoffrey Nelson joined our different creative abilities together and created a space that was a smash hit. Killbuck and Mary was mostly Steampunk, Geoffrey mostly burning man and I, historical.

This was interpretation on a whole new level for me, but this is interpretation at the core of costuming, personification, transformation.

I so agree with what Killbuck wrote about our theme that I copied it here from Room of Costume

Thematic Description:

“Fashion is conformative- Costume is transformative”

At the moment the first ancient shaman wrapped an animal hide around his body to emulate the spirit of the animal, costume was born. Differentiated from functional protective clothing or fashion, costume is set apart by the essential role it plays in art, theater, entertainment, community and spirituality. Not associated with trend or aspired-to social conformity, costume is timeless and non-conformist.

Deeply associated with creative activities and contexts, costume changes the wearer in ways fashion cannot. Costume transforms us into real, mythical or popular culture characters; it changes our personality; it frees us to act out, and encourages the viewer to act along.

Costume often employs materials, methods and techniques of master artists and artisans with meticulous detail, ingenious structural design, incongruous textures, rich colors and forms. Costume artists often expand their traditional needle and thread with hammers, drills, rivets and heat guns. Cloth, leather and traditional materials are often augmented with non-traditional ingredients like plastics, metals, expanding foam or heat forming polymers.

Costume artists may create intricate re-creations of historic costumes of the past, or ignore historic reality and create costumes that previously only existed in the artist’s imagination. In the case of the Steampunk genre, costume artists create their visions of Victorian science fiction-alternate futurism by blending elegant Victorian foundations with the trappings and equipment required in an imaginary today, where the transistor was never invented, and civilization is still powered by steam. In this case, past fashion influences costume and the costume influences modern fashion. Similar circles can be seen in the costume culture evolving out of the annual Burning Man Project.

As it has been for centuries and will be for centuries more, the art of costume is the dress of the special event, the special circumstance, performance, ceremony or ritual. From Mardi Gras to masquerade ball, Comic-Cons to Ren-faires, theater footlight to Burning Man, costume is an integral art, and a part of the culture that makes us human.
A few pictures of our "room" at the Wildflower Villiage Motel.

The view entering in the door

Coming in the door

I love the ceiling and walls of our "tent", it gave it a real Steampunk feel.

Killbucks creations

Mary's creations. She does the most amazing Steampunk Chatelaines. Mary was explaining the original use of the Chatelaines and one patron summed it up when Mary finish by saying "oh I see, it's a Victorian utility knife". I do have a few of my Steampunk creations in Mary's room as they didn't "fit" in the historical room. My creations are the winged backpack, hat with wings and boots with wings.

Geoffery is an award winning photographer of Burning Man Costumes, plus he has created a few himself.

The sign as you enter around the corner from the "tent" and across from Geoffrey's protraits